Lately…

So, Julie has been totally killing it lately with the blog- I have not, as you can see by my lack of posts. I have been constantly thinking about posting, but sometimes it’s hard to force  yourself to sit down, actually write something and post it. So, I thought I would just do a short little post about some of the things that I have been up to. And my posting will be better. Pinkie swear.

 

Took a walk today after lunch down at the Smale Riverfront Park– it’s so pretty down there!

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A really blue sky from yesterday- hasn’t the weather been just gorgeous?!?

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Gluten free hashbrowns for dinner from Chef Andrew and entertainment from Tyrion Lannister (Game of Thrones is AWESOME, except for all the incestual relationships). There will be a gluten free post coming your way!

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I am DEVOURING this book. I was PUMPED to get it from the library after reserving it and finding that I was 250th in line.

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The squirrels. I saw a really bootylicious squirrel the other day. They are hiding their food all over the place, but seem to especially like the corners of my windowsills, my porch and the corners of my front steps.

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Michelle Dockery’s Emmy dress: Julie had to call me today to discuss its awesomeness. Love it. And her. And Downton Abbey. And yes, I do other things besides watch TV.

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DIY Disaster: How to Hang a Ceiling Fan

No, I’m not going to detail how to hang a ceiling fan. That would be boring and there are instructions in the box.

I love a good light fixture. A good table lamp or overhead fixture can send me into raptures, but I can’t say I’ve ever been a big proponent of ceiling fans. They’re not pretty, make noise, and I rarely ever find myself needing to be colder at night (unless there is no AC, which is a different story). That being said, Andrew and I wanted to change out the lights in our bedroom and our guest bedroom for a functional ceiling fan for the following reasons:

1) just because I like to be on fire all night, does not mean everyone else does.

2) the current lights are sososo ugly and sad

3) energy costs (we can run the ceiling fan instead of the air conditioner fan all night if someone is hot.

4) this apartment will eventually become a rental, and having a fan in the bedrooms seems like a normal thing to do.

So here’s the before:

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We bought 2 fans at Lowes over Labor Day weekend so they were on sale (or we had a coupon, I can’t remember), brought them home, got excited, and let the boxes sit in the house for 2 weeks untouched.

The great thing about owning an older home is the character that comes with it. Unfortunately, some of that character makes it difficult to DIY. Ceiling fan #1 went into the guest room (because we wanted to practice before destroying our bedroom). 3 hours and 1 trip to Ace Hardware later, it was complete. Instead of using the fan brackets you can buy with your fan, we had to use the existing electrical box and reinforce it by drilling out bigger holes for the screws. This caused some irritation on Andrew’s part (I gave him a hug and he felt better…. not. We yelled at each other a lot, and then hung up the fan while muttering to ourselves).

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So here are some details:

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Just look at all the pieces.

Also, there were some options in terms of colors. One side of the fan blade was brown and the other was dark brown.

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We chose the dark brown.

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Since we were now pros, and gluttons for punishment, we decided to do Fan #2 in our Master Bedroom the next day. I felt like the greatest Nascar pit crew when we finished it in just under 45 minutes.  Subtracting the extra time spent the day before to take a trip to the hardware store and fight and yell at each other, we knew our roles and it made our day better just knowing it was one project from our giant on going list to complete. Woot!

Here is the guest bedroom:

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and our bedroom:

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DIY A.D.D.: Or how many projects can you start at one time?

I’m afraid I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole of home ownership. It all starts with one little project and all of a sudden you’re in the middle of several not so little projects. How did this happen?! We seriously have 3 major on-going unfinished projects right now, and so, so many little ones. Oh, you’d like to hear all about them? Well good, here we go…

As you read this, please note that there are more projects in the house that we are planning and talking about, these are just the ones that are in process and/or that we have the tools and materials for.

Major Projects:

1) Garage: When we bought this house back in February, we knew we would need to do something about the garage. It was wobbly and had some clear structural issues. Also the people doors were breaking apart and the car doors were manual. Oh, the gutters also leak, which caused some rotting wood on the siding.

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A few months ago, we had a dude come out and fix the garage so that the people doors closed and weren’t falling apart, the rotting wood was replaced, and the whole structure was fixed so that it didn’t wobble and threaten to come tumbling down every time you opened or closed the doors. Then, in a genius master stroke,  Andrew rewired the entire garage so that we could have automatic openers installed and so we could turn on a light and it would actually come on (what!).

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So now to finish the project we need to pressure wash off all the old, cracked, and flaking paint. Then we need to replace the gutters around the entire structure. THEN we can paint… and prime.

2) Basement: In order not to repeat myself see THIS post. Basically we need to paint and finish the floors throughout, and paint the walls throughout.

3) Back Staircase: This is sort of part of the basement, but we have a staircase that goes from the basement all the way up to the third floor apartment. It is the only way for everyone to get to the laundry room, and it is covered in disgusting carpet and linoleum that is possibly as old as the dinosaur bones that my house was built on. We’ve already pulled up a lot of the linoleum, and started fixing and patching the steps, but we are a loooong way from done and well, sad face.

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Little Projects:

1) Bathroom switchplate:

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you wouldn’t think this would take so long, the switchplate needs to be cut so that it fits against the trim, and I want to swap out the current bisque switches with shiny white ones. However, what we really want to do is change the wiring so that all the light switches and outlets are in the same spot. We aren’t super pleased with the precarious location of our current outlets are, so we would eventually seal that one up.

2) Bathroom mirror:

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Also, not a terribly difficult project. I hate those 80s star bolts and it took me for-ev-errrrr to find suitable replacements on the internet (as no one even vaguely understood what I was talking about at the hardware stores). Then these covers came from india or the artic circle or somewhere where the mail system also takes for-ev-errrrrr, but now weeks later, I can only blame my own laziness for not changing these out yet.

3) the YARD:

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A never ending project of pulling weeds and making pesto. Just LOOK at the basil bushes we’ve inflicted upon ourselves this summer. Also things that are dying and ugly.

4) New Couch:

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We finally bought one! It’s set to arrive in 6-8 weeks and IJUSTCANTWAIT! This will probably prompt us (me) to rearrange the living room and go insane. The couch we are currently using is an old teal leather thing. It’s an ok couch, but it isn’t really my style and it definitely doesn’t go with anything else we own. It’s too small, too teal, too stuffed and and I can’t wait to pawn it off on my dad.

5) Painting the front and back doors:

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Needs to be done. Bought the paint, bought new knobs and locks….but we just haven’t gotten to it yet. It’s difficult, because we have to give notice to our tenants, and repair the doors before we do anything else.

6) New ceiling fans:

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I can officially cross this off the list now! But at the time I started writing this, there were 2 ceiling fan boxes sitting in my house, just begging for me to trip over them and take them to the basement, where projects go to die.

7) Blinds in the guest bedroom: I’m just not ready to photograph this at this point, so no pictures for you… yet. This was a stupid decision on my part. I was at IKEA one day and on a whim, bought some blinds, just to see if they would fit in our windows. They didn’t fit in the sunroom windows, but DID fit in the master bedroom and guest bedroom windows. The reason I didn’t immediately install them was because I will have to take down the existing binds and curtains, prime and paint the windows to white, and THEN hang the new blinds I bought. Clearly, I would like to start this in the guest bedroom. I bought blinds for 2 windows, there are 3 windows in the guest bedroom, sigh. These new blinds have been sitting in our office for over 4 months.

F@$$

DIY Disaster: Here is a story and a picture I drew

Notice to all you DIY-ers out there: DO NOT USE KILLZ PRIMER IN A PAINT SPRAYER. This is the story of how I went shopping and Andrew lost his mind on the basement. The story begins pre-basement floor painting (see that story here). We had cleaned (which involved vacuuming the ceiling), washed the walls with TSP and taped everything off (this took a couple of days). The walls were ready to be primed! My boss lent me a paint sprayer so we thought “why not? It should be quick, and relatively easy” (we are naive sometimes, but we have learned that easy is a relative term). Anyway, before I left for my shopping trip, we tested out the paint sprayer… it was loud, and didn’t really spray so much as dribble. Huge sigh. Some kind friends also happened to have a professional grade sprayer that they were willing to lend us (complete with air pump). Huzzzah! With that decided, I happily went on my way to the mall. I returned home a few hours later to find Andrew covered in paint with chocolate all over his face.

This is an accurate depiction:

This is an accurate photo

He had white paint all over his nostril hairs. It took him about 6 hours to prime the basement… with a paint sprayer. The same amount of wall took us just about 2 hours to paint with brushes and rollers later that day. Apparently Killz primer is too thick for a regular paint sprayer. Watering it down helps though.

Lesson learned: don’t, just don’t.